Junior Lucy Filyaw to shave head for cancer research


Several kids shave their heads March 15 to fundraise for the St. Baldrick’s foundation for cancer research. Junior Lucy Filyaw plans to do the same April 13. Photo courtesy Lucy Filyaw.

By Eric Neugeboren

Junior Lucy Filyaw plans to shave her head April 13 for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a non-profit organization that raises money for child cancer research.

Filyaw started a page on the foundation’s website so people could donate to the organization on her behalf. She has raised over $1,900 already from donors ranging from strangers to her teachers. Filyaw’s page lists her fundraising goal as $5,000.

“Many people don’t know that child cancer is severely underfunded,” Filyaw said. “So I decided to shave my head because I don’t have as much money as others and there will be a bigger impact if people donate on my behalf.”

As part of partnering with the organization, Filyaw will pay tribute to Joseph, a child who died in 2012 from brain and spinal cord tumors. She will be holding his picture when she shaves her head. Cancer is also personal to Filyaw, as her stepmom and aunt were once diagnosed with the disease.

“Seeing them go through the chemo and imagining going through that as a child is really heartbreaking,” Filyaw said. “It can take away your childhood.”

Filyaw has received support from many peers, who commend her for being willing to shave her head. While some have questioned her on why she’s doing it, she has no regrets, she said.

“It’s been really eye-opening how much people care about this,” Filyaw said. “It wasn’t just people who’ve been impacted by this. My hair will grow back eventually. I’m just excited to do it.”